Structural design of high-strength austenitic stainless steel

Leroy Gardner (Corresponding Author), Asko Talja, N.R. Baddoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Efficient use of material is an important factor in achieving economical and sustainable structures. Typically, annealed austenitic stainless steel has a material strength of around 220 N/mm2, somewhat lower than that of common structural carbon steel grades. This lower strength, coupled with the higher material cost, puts stainless steel at a significant disadvantage when considering material selection, despite its other desirable properties. However, the strength of stainless steel may, at relatively low expense, be considerably enhanced through modification of the chemical composition and through the process of cold working due to the strain hardening nature of the material. This strength enhancement has not generally been utilised in practice due to a lack of knowledge on the structural behaviour of this high-strength material. Given the high material cost of stainless steel, the need to optimise the efficiency of design methods and to develop the performance, availability and diversity of the current product range is clear. To this end, this paper describes tests, numerical modelling and the development of design guidance for high-strength stainless-steel members in a range of structural configurations. Material tensile tests, member tests in compression and member tests in bending have been described. The results of the tests have been successfully replicated numerically, and subsequent sensitivity studies and parametric studies have been performed. Test and numerical results have been compared against two design methods developed for standard-strength material (Eurocode 3 Part 1.4 and the deformation capacity based design method). The comparisons have revealed that both design methods provide a similar level of reliability to that offered for standard-strength material, and thus, extension of both design methods to the high-strength grades has been recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-528
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • austenite
  • austenitic stainless steels
  • coldworked
  • deformation capacity
  • eurocode 3
  • high strength
  • laboratory testing
  • numerical modelling
  • stainless steel
  • structures


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